Thank you so much for praying for and partnering with me and our team in Asia and in the USA.
IN THE U.S.A. FOR A WHILE
After a 14-month stint in Asia (except for a quick trip to take care of taxes/business in February), I am just recently home in Virginia for about 3 to 4 months, where I will be reconnecting with relationships here. I will be traveling and speaking to churches/groups, casting vision, doing some writing and updating everyone I can about what has been happening and where we are looking to go in the future. It has also been 3 years since I last spent Thanksgiving and Christmas stateside, so it will be a blessing to be near family and friends this year. I desire and hope to see you while here. Also, if you have a group you would like me to speak to, we are glad to come and share!
UPDATE ON THE PHILIPPINES
It has been exactly 3 years since I first went to the Philippines to scout and began the process of pioneering there. As Encounter Generation partnered with the City Disciples Church there, we have seen the Lord grant a harvest of good fruit. You have been a huge part of it. Here is a report of what the Lord has accomplished over the 3 years:
- 1 church has grown to a network of 3 churches.
- We have seen around 60 baptisms of people professing to follow Jesus.
- We have grown from 35 attendees in the church that was there to a combined total of around 200 plus attendees on Sundays.
- One group of 5 students has graduated from the School of Ministry. The next group of 20 is studying now with Pastor Dion facilitating. He is a graduate of the school and pastor of one of our churches and he is helping lead and direct the school now, which equips and trains our leaders.
- We have grown from an initial team of around 7 leaders to a team of around 45 combined leaders from the three churches.
- Each church has elders and deacons and core leaders working together.
- Structures and systems are in place, along with facilities and equipment.
- The Sidewalk Sunday School ministry continues to reach out to children in our communities.
- An Overseeing Board to give oversight for the whole Philippines ministry has been formed to provide guidance, encouragement and accountability.
- A joint, Sunday-morning service of the three churches was held in September as an evangelistic outreach. We called it Encounter. 300 attended with several professions of faith in Christ. Seeing this happen was a milestone for the ministry there and provided encouragement and momentum for everyone as I prepared to travel home.
The Lord has done all of this. He has used a large team of people (Filipinos, Americans and friends from other nations) in seeing this birthed and growing to this point. You are a significant part of the team. Your prayers, your encouragement, your financial partnership, your guidance and insight, have all empowered the team on the ground to see God’s purposes fulfilled. I cannot thank you enough.
PHASE 2 – EXPANSION IN ASIA
We have seen Phase 1 (above) come to fruition with the vision I moved to Asia holding in our hearts as a ministry. Phase 2 of that vision is to expand into other parts of Asia, forming strategic partnerships, with a focus on places inhabited by more unreached peoples.
In the Philippines, though we came alongside an existing Filipino partner, we have played one of the lead roles in pioneering and pastoring the network there. That experience has been vital for preparing us to move into phase two. But in other parts of Asia, the language, culture and government restrictions cause us to adjust our strategy to coming alongside strategic partners in more of a support role, providing what we can to equip, empower and enable those partners to advance the Kingdom of God across their nations.
This is a strategy that God seems to be utilizing a lot around the world at this stage in the history of World Missions, as Western missionaries are coming alongside native Christian leaders to advance the Kingdom in their nations. This is our strategy for these unreached nations in Asia.
Myanmar is around 88% Buddhist and only around 6% Christian. Robin Kung is a longtime friend who has a church in the city, Yangon, Myanmar. They have a Ministry Institute there to train their leaders, similar to our School of Ministry, and they have four churches that have been planted in what were unreached villages in rural areas. They also have a children’s home with around 14 children who have been taken in from war-torn areas of the country and various other situations.
Robin and Me
A Village Pastor and His Family
In 2017, we will continue to work in the Philippines and be involved in the ministry there. But I plan to travel into other parts of Asia a lot more this coming year. We specifically want to begin intentionally partnering with Robin and the ministry there in Myanmar. I am already scheduled to go there in April and plan to go more as I can get visas approved.
Children’s Home Kids
Our Big Project for 2017
The big project we want to work toward is helping build headquarters for the ministry in Myanmar, which would house the home church and the Ministry Training Institute which equips and trains leaders and church planters. It would also house community development such as vocational skills, business training and English classes. Finally, it would house the children’s home as well.
Above is an engineer’s drawing that gives you an idea of what Robin and the ministry there is hoping to build.
We are praying and working to raise a significant amount of what is needed to help see this happen. Based on my time there, I am convinced that this facility would propel the ministry there forward in a significant way and forge a partnership that will hopefully reach unreached people in Myanmar for years to come. We are planning multiple trips there to help train and raise up leaders, to hold revival services, to provide discipleship resources and more to help support the ministry there and to see them continue to move forward in planting more churches in unreached areas as well as take care of orphans and those in need. That is Robin’s heart and it is mine too. So we are excited to partner with him however we can to see God’s Kingdom come and His will done in Myanmar. Most of my time in the U.S. will be casting this vision and looking for partnership that can enable it to happen.
Thank you for your prayers and all you do to partner with Encounter Generation as we work to see the Gospel of the Kingdom transform lives and families and communities in the 10/40 Window.
You can partner financially by sending tax-deductible donations to:
Encounter Generation, Inc.
P.O. Box 523
Marion, VA 24354
Or give online by clicking on the “Give” tab above.